Lalu Yadav Fodder Scam verdict LIVE: The quantum of sentence for RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and 15 others in a fodder scam case which was supposed to be announced by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Thursday, was postponed. Yesterday the judge had heard the counsel of the first five convicts. Lalu is the sixth convict in the alphabetical order. Deferring the sentencing for the second day in a row, CBI judge Shiv Pal Singh said he would decide today whether the sentence would be given over video conference or in the court. To this, Prasad said he was for personal appearance and assured that there would be no slogans raised in the courtroom by his supporters. The special CBI court had on December 23 convicted the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and 15 others in a case relating to the multi-million-rupee fodder scam. However, seven accused including former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra were acquitted. Lalu has been convicted in the case relating to embezzling of more than Rs. 89 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994. The RJD chief has already been convicted in another fodder scam- Chaibasa treasury- case in which he is out on bail but the conviction cost him his Lok Sabha seat. He has been disqualified from contesting elections.
Track live updates of Lalu Yadav Fodder Scam verdict here:
3:43 pm Sentence will be announced at 2 pm, tomorrow, via video conferencing
3:29 pm Hearing over quantum of sentence for the 5 accused, including Lalu Prasad Yadav, completed at Ranchi Special CBI Court. Sentence yet to be announced.
2: 40 pm Judge Shivpal Singh to pronounce the quantum of sentence for rest of the accused, including Lalu Prasad Yadav, via video conferencing.
1: 46 pm: Lalu Prasad, in his plea, said: “I have no role in this scam directly; consider minimum punishment keeping in view my age and health grounds.”
1: 32 pm: RJD chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, citing his age and health, moved a plea Friday before the special CBI court in Ranchi seeking minimum punishment in the Rs 950 crore fodder scam case.
1: 02 pm: Here, read about What is Fodder Scam or Chara Ghotala?
12: 48 pm: Lalu Yadav ,mentioned in his plea “I have no role in this scam directly; consider minimum punishment keeping in view my age and health grounds”
12: 33 pm: RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav files fresh plea in court, seeking minimum sentence, reported Times Now.
12: 25 pm: Lalu Prasad Yadav’s advocate files plea before Ranchi Special CBI Court demanding minimum punishment to the RJD Chief on health grounds
12: 16 pm: “Lalu Prasad Yadav has blessings of the almighty and we have faith that he will get justice. I am sure our Chief Lalu ji will attend RJD’s crucial meeting tomorrow” says Bihar party chief Ramchandra Purve.
12: 06 pm: The case resurfaced again in 1996. On 27 January, CBI carried out raids on offices of Animal Husbandry department in Chaibasa. The scam took its notorious name ‘Chara Ghotala’ (fodder scam) as it emerged that large-scale funds were embezzled in the name of transactions made to non-existent companies – for purchase and supply of cattle fodder in Bihar in the 1990s.
11: 57 am: First emerged in 1985, fodder scam is 22-year-old case of fraudulent transaction up to the tune of Rs 950 crores. The scam or irregularity was first sniffed by CAG TN Chaturvedi in the year 1985 who noticed that Bihar government kept delaying the monthly filing of the account status.
11: 51 am: RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is set to be sentenced in 22-year-old fodder scam or ‘Chara Ghotala’. The sentencing is a serious blow to Yadav at a time when he is combating with PM Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar in Bihar and on the national front.
11: 47 am: Watch Video| RJD leaders Manoj Jha, JP Yadav react to Lalu’s conviction
11: 37 am: In 1996, the Patna High Court had ordered an inquiry into the fodder scam cases and a charge sheet in the Deogarh treasury case was filed against 38 people on 27 October, 1997. Eleven of them died and three turned approvers while two other accused confessed and were convicted in 2006-07, a CBI official said.
11: 18 am: During proceedings in court, the judge told the former CM that he had read the record and had vigilance been tight, such a thing like the fodder scam could not have occurred. After the judge pointed that Lalu Prasad did not act promptly on which latter replied on his trademark style saying, “I am also an advocate.” Lalu had done LLB from Patna University. On being informed about contempt notices to another party leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Lalu’s son and former Bihar deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav, Congress leader Manish Tiwari and RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari, requested the judge to drop the notices. When he was being taken away from the courtroom, Lalu Prasad also urged the judge to think with a “cool mind”.
11: 10 am: During proceedings in court, the Judge Shiv Pal Singh said that he could opt for video conferencing for hearing on the quantum of punishment on Friday, the former Bihar CM requested for personal appearance. Hearing this, the judge said he would decide tomorrow on it.
10: 56 am: Ranchi CBI court judge Shivpal Singh, who convicted Lalu Prasad Yadav in second fodder scam case of Rs 950 crore, observed on Thursday that “he got phone calls from the RJD chief’s men” while again deferring to pronounce the quantum of sentence. “Got phone calls from Lalu’s men,” PTI quoted the judge as making this observation during the proceedings. The judge, however, did not specify who were the people that called him.
10: 45 am: Lalu has been convicted in one of the cases of the fodder scam, wherein Rs 9 billion from the Bihar exchequer was siphoned off under the pretext of purchasing fodder for livestock, during the ’80s and ’90s.
10: 36 am: Earlier on January 3, the court deferred the matter due to the demise of advocate Vindeshwari Prasad.The court also found Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav and other party leaders Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Manoj Jha guilty of contempt of court.
10: 28 am: During the proceedings, the court said that Bihar vigilance Director General, Janata Dal (United) leader Jagdish Sharma and former Bihar Director General of Police D P Ojha are the main masterminds in the scam.
10: 16 am: The Ranchi Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court will now pronounce the quantum of sentence against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad in connection with fodder scam today.
10: 06 am: According to TV reports, the process will begin in the later half of the day (after 2pm). However, the quantum of sentence is likely to be pronounced tomorrow.
9: 47 am: During the course of proceedings in the packed court room, the judge told Prasad that he had read the latter’s record and had vigilance remained tight, such a thing (fodder scam) would not have happened. The judge further commented that the RJD chief did not act promptly on which Prasad in his characteristic style said “I am also an advocate.”
9: 36 am: Even in the midst of proceedings to decide the quantum of sentence in a fodder scam involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad yesterday, the leader did not miss to crack a funny when he told the judge that “it was very cold in jail” to which the judge replied play ‘tabla’. Prasad, known for his funny liners, said in the court, “It is very cold here (in jail)”. CBI Special Court Judge Shiv Pal Singh, hearing the case, was quick to reply, “Then, play tabla (musical instrument)”.
9: 15 am: Yadav faces another three fodder scam cases for illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.97 crore from the Dumka Treasury, Rs 36 crore from the Chaibasa Treasury and Rs 184 crore from the Doranda treasury.
9: 11 am: On September 30, 2013, Yadav, Jagannath Mishra and several others had been convicted in another case pertaining to illegal withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa Treasury in the early 1990s. The conviction on December 23 last is the second in the scam.
9: 08 am: In 1996, the Patna High Court had ordered an inquiry into the fodder scam cases and a charge sheet in the Deogarh treasury case was filed against 38 people on October 27, 1997. Eleven of them died and three turned approvers while two other accused confessed and were convicted in 2006-07, a CBI official said.
9: 02 am: Under the sections, Prasad can be sentenced a minimum jail term of one year and maximum of seven years, his advocate Chittaranjan Prasad had said.
8: 59 am: The case pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of the money from the Deoghar treasury between 1991 and 1994. The court had convicted Prasad for offences of cheating with criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
8: 56 am: The court had yesterday served contempt notices to senior leaders of the RJD and the Congress for criticising in TV channels the December 23 conviction of Prasad in the fodder scam case. It had on December 23 convicted Prasad and 15 others in this fodder scam case and acquitted six others including another former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra.
8: 51 am: Fifteen others who were convicted in the scam and were to be sentenced along with Prasad waited in the court, while the RJD chief was whisked away to Birsa Munda jail after this.
8: 48 am: The judge also said he had received phone calls from well-wishers of the RJD boss but did not elaborate. With the court room packed, the judge asked the advocates not connected with the fodder scam case to leave.
8: 42 am: The court had a day before served contempt notices to senior leaders of the RJD and the Congress for criticising in TV channels the December 23 conviction of Prasad in the fodder scam case.
8: 37 am: Deferring the sentencing for the second day in a row, CBI judge Shiv Pal Singh said he would decide tomorrow whether the sentence would be given over video conference or in the court. To this, Prasad said he was for personal appearance and assured that there would be no slogans raised in the courtroom by his supporters.
8: 30 am: A special court today deferred the sentencing of Lalu Prasad in a fodder scam case till tomorrow when it is likely to decide whether to pronounce the quantum of punishment over video conference or in court with the judge saying he also received phone calls from the RJD chief’s well- wishers.